Tuesday, March 29, 2011

LOD Goes HOF

Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger

Finally, the Road Warriors are heading into the WWE Hall of Fame.  It's a long overdue honor for one of wrestling's greatest duos.  

The Legion of Doom aka the Road Warriors worked under the direction of "Precious" Paul Ellering, who I'm glad to hear is also being inducted with Hawk and Animal.  As a kid I read all about the Warriors in Pro Wrestling Illustrated and watched their matches in the AWA.  They were the baddest dudes on the block.  They had an intimidating look and kicked ass every time they were in the ring.

They tore through the competition in the AWA and won the tag team titles.  As a preteen, I was shocked when the unlikely team of Steven Regal (not William) and Jimmy Garvin beat the Road Warriors for the belts.  They of course has help from Michael Hayes, but none the less, these two bethemoths were knocked down a peg or two by a couple of well, wussies.
It wasn't long before the Road Warriors and Ellering headed to the NWA and dominated there as well.  They won the tag titles and beat the likes of Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, the Midnight Express, and the Powers of Pain.  Again, I was surprised to see them drop the belts to another unlikely duo, this time Mike Rotunda and Steve Williams.

The Warriors left Atlanta and headed north for the WWF in 1990.  They would go though without Ellering.  I'm not sure why that was.  But they would face the so called LOD ripoffs, Demolition.  Besides not having Ellering in their corner, the Road Warriors also changed their name to just the Legion of Doom. They were no longer referred to as the Road Warriors.  And they exchanged their BA black shoulder spikes for orange ones.  More PG family friendly I suppose.  

Hawk vs. Typhoon
The LOD eventually won the tag titles in the WWF too, making them the first and only team to hold the tag straps in all 3 feds in the 80's and 90's.  A pretty remarkable feat. They lost the belts to another new team, this time Money, Inc.  

Ellering did join them briefly along with a dummy named Rocko.  I never quite understood the path they were led down after that.  Eventually Hawk would leave and Animal teamed briefly with the now Kona Crush formerly Demolition Crush.

The Warriors would reunite and return to both WCW and WWE off and on including an attempt to add Droz to the group.  Hawk would die in 2003, bringing an end to one of the all time greatest tag teams. Animal made a comeback in 2005 trying to reform LOD with John Heidenreich. It was an epic failure.  You just can't imitate great teams of the past.  Animal still wrestles in Japan.

I'm glad I'll be there to see these 3 men get their due and become immortalized in the WWE Hall of Fame.  What a rush!

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